Students experience self realization through Mediasite

From left, Terry Wirkus, Academic Technology Services; Claire Hickey, UW-L student; Patricia Hickey, Claire’s mother; Jim Jorstad, Academic Technology Services

From left, Terry Wirkus, Academic Technology Services; Claire Hickey, UW-L student; Patricia Hickey, Claire’s mother; Jim Jorstad, Academic Technology Services

In the popular UWL-100 freshman seminar classes, a student’s growth isn’t just measured by As and Bs. In some of the course sections, live Web streaming technology is being used to let the students explain how they have changed during their first three months of college.

Students were challenged to create a rich media presentation to document and explain how they changed from the first day of class to three months later. Students used a technology called Mediasite, which basically mixes video and Microsoft PowerPoint slides into one Web stream, which is made available live on the Internet.

Jim Jorstad, director of Academic Technology Services, said he was very surprised how open students were as they talked about their first days as a freshman on campus, and how they grew in three short months.

“On the first day we ask students to tell their classmates, what makes them distinctive,” explains Jorstad. “Then three months later we ask students to create a rich media presentation comparing how they’ve changed.

The results turned out to be surprising, engaging, and emotional for many, says Jorstad.

“My Mediasite presentation gave me a chance to talk about the easy things in my life and the hard times — like when my cousin committed suicide,” says Claire Hickey, UW-L Therapeutic Recreation major.

Getting up to present and use new technology made Hickey feel like a nervous wreck, but she found the technology made it easier to talk.

“Technology has helped me to grow and become a more confident person,” she notes.

Hickey’s Mediasite project was submitted to international UNLEASH Rich Media Awards competition and she received a $1,500 scholarship and a crystal statue from Sonic Foundry Corporation May 18 in Madison. Hickey was runner up to the top finalist, Richard S. Miltenberger, Northwestern University Prosthetics – Orthotics Center Northwestern University.

“I am amazed how dramatically and positively students change in such a short time period,” says Jorstad. “The technology allows us to document how much they have all grown. It is an exceptional application of technology, self improvement and self realization.”

About Mediasite

Mediasite is a technology used to mix audio, video and Microsoft PowerPoint slides into one web stream, which goes live on the Internet. Additional components can be added to the presentation such as taking polls or live chat. Audiences can be limited to a small group or the world. Mediasite technology started on campus three and a half years ago and has grown dramatically since. It’s open for students, faculty and staff to use whether for lectures, training, student research or other projects. If you know how to advance a PowerPoint slide, you can give a presentation using Mediasite. Six Mediasite units are installed in podiums on campus. Five of these are in the new academic building. For more information contact Jim Jorstad at 785.8048. Terry Wirkus, Distance Education Manager in Academic Technology Services, managed the Mediasite recordings for the UW-L 100 classes.